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Celtics' Robert Williams 'Close To Return,' Could Play As Soon As Game 3 Vs. Nets

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Celtics already own a 2-0 lead in their series against the Brooklyn Nets. They may be getting a huge piece back, to boot.

Center Robert Williams, who hasn't played since March 27 due to a knee injury, is "close" to returning to the floor, according to Shams Charania.

Charania reported that Williams could play as soon as Game 3 on Saturday or Game 4 on Monday, and that the Celtics will be monitoring Williams on a day-to-day basis.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski later added to the report, indicating that the plan is for Williams to play "limited minutes" in Game 3 on Saturday.

Williams traveled with the Celtics to Brooklyn, which was the first sign that his injury recovery might have been progressing a bit ahead of schedule. He wasn't ruled out of this first-round series against the Nets, but a potential return was widely expected to come later in the series, if necessary.

The 24-year-old averaged 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game -- all career highs -- in 61 games played this season.

Williams suffered a meniscus tear in late March, but early reports indicated a positive outlook for a four to six week recovery. The procedure to fix the damage took place on March 30.

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